Meeting Notes - May 2021

Notes from Sheffield FoE Local Group meeting - 17th May 2021 by Zoom

Attendees: Lindy S (chair), Richard S, Liddy G (notes), Sean A, Claire B, Beatrice G, 
Del P, Helen F, Hana (plus Chris W, Chris B, Dean, Ian M, Sue, Jo C for talk)

Apologies: Shaun R, Duncan G, Sarah S.

1. Talk by Fran Halsall: Low Carbon Food Infrastructure in Sheffield - Fran and Gareth Roberts joined the meeting to talk about ShefFood (“the food partnership for Sheffield”) and a wealth of opportunities and current developments in Sheffield to support sustainable local food production. (Full details in separate blog). 

2. Follow up to April meeting The six Sheffield Environmental Hustings in April went very well. Over 250 people signed up and candidates had prepared for them carefully and with consideration. Audience and candidates alike commented on the fact that the atmosphere at each of them was very collaborative and respectful. Generally feedback very positive and diverse range of participants, not just “usual suspects”.

3. Local Council elections - Following the recent local elections, there is currently ‘No Overall Control’ of Sheffield City Council. Labour, the Lib Dems and the Green Party are in discussion about how to form an administration. This needs to be resolved by the council AGM on Wednesday. Sheffield FoE have added our weight to several letters to all party leaders and/or councillors urging them to unite for the sake of the city and in particular to use the Arup ‘Pathway to Zero Carbon’ report as a focus for action. This is linked to the mutual respect and cooperative mood at the cross-party hustings events in April. ‘XR & Friends’ are holding an event outside the Council AGM on Weds 19th May 10:30-11:30 urging councillors to work together on the climate and nature emergencies.

4. Nature Recovery Sheffield - This group is led by Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust and Sheffield FoE is part of it. It was formed when petitions to Sheffield Council to declare an Ecological Emergency fell on deaf ears. Claire B provided an update of all the groups now involved. On Friday 21st May they will launch a mass declaration of a Nature Emergency in Sheffield. Everyone is encouraged to share the declaration either by email or on social media. It is thought likely that the new administration will pick this up and a Nature Recovery Strategy, based on guidelines developed by the Wildlife Trusts will then be developed in partnership with Nature Sheffield. Otherwise plan is that pressure will keep building on both the council and individual groups to continue to work together on nature recovery related projects.

5. Climate Craftivism event May 24th - 
Helen reported that two Rotherham colleagues with crafting skills have been doing outdoor projects and re putting on an event to make origami hearts. Stitches for Survival” are making a 1.5 km symbol of temperature risk to send to COP in Glasgow.

6. Support for Rotherham Climate Action & linking with other groups nearby - The Rotherham Climate Action Group is now being supported through the FoE share of the SCA Lottery Grant, initially £100 to develop the website and the meeting supported a provisional agreement to contribute a further £300. A NE Derbyshire Climate Action group has also recently set up and there is another active independent group in the Hope Valley.

7. Future Simple Steps events - We are signed up to run a version of this online event for Crosspool Festival, U3A and the Bread & Roses WI. If anyone has other groups who might enjoy/benefit from the hints and tips in ‘Simple Steps to Combat Climate Change’, pass on our email address

8. Planning a focus for stalls/schools work for Autumn 2021/ onwards – Potential to develop campaigns we can deliver as and when there are opportunities to run stalls. Need to identify what the focus might be.

9. Schools Conference in July – Richard provided an update. 17 schools already signed up even before event promotion started. There will be a panel and over 30 different workshops that schools can sign up for. There are challenges ensuring national political support and local council support for schools to do this kind of work and help generate more involvement from schools and young people.

10. Sheffield FoE website- The notes from meetings are available in the website, with a record of the talk separately and occasional other issues/events (eg the Hustings) Please look here for information and share links to promote the group to others.

11. Promoting the group through social media and database sign ups – Numbers continue to go up! AN database 335, Twitter 592, Facebook 617.  If everyone could get at least one other person to sign up to the Action Network database and/or to the Twitter or Facebook feeds that would be great. Links to all are on the website.
. A new attendee, Hana, provided some feedback on having found out about the group through the website and been encouraged to join the meeting.

12. Next Local Group Meeting – 7:30pm on 14th June 2021 – meeting on Zoom (NB in a modification of usual pattern, this is 2nd not 3rd Monday)